Morning Digest: Jan. 3, 2013

Christie: My party was responsible for this

TRENTON – After criticizing some federal lawmakers for treating residents affected by Superstorm Sandy like “pawns” in a political chess game, Gov. Chris Christie lashed out at members of his own party. Arco, PolitickerNJ


GOP’s Scarpa steps forward as LD38 Assembly candidate

Rochelle Park Township Committeeman Joe Scarpa wants to serve in the Assembly in the 38th District.

“I’m not going to beat around the bush, I’m running,” Scarpa told Pizarro, PolitickerNJ


Christie defends N.J. Transit decision regarding flooded rail yards

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie defended N.J. Transit’s pre-super storm Sandy preparations today when asked about a report that warned that northern New Jersey rail yards were at risk of flooding. PolitickerNJ


Latest from the Back Room

Here we go

The Gov. Chris Christie opposition group Patriot Majority has launched a new attack website as the governor gears up for his re-election bid. Isherwood, PolitickerNJ


Latest from State Street Wire

Rible bill would ban release of gun ownership information

TRENTON – An Assembly lawmaker says the names and addresses of gun owners in the state should not be a matter of public record. Arco, State Street Wire

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N.J. mayors frustrated over Sandy relief delay

House Speaker John Boehner has assured lawmakers that the house will vote on $60 billion in aid related to Superstorm Sandy by January 15th. New Jersey mayors say any delay will be costly. 101.5FM


Budget deal lets more workers switch to Roth 401k

U.S. workers willing to take tax pain today in exchange for tax-free gains on earnings in their 401(k) retirement accounts later have a new avenue to do so. Bloomberg


Princeton swears in new consolidated council

PRINCETON — New council member Patrick Simon and his spouse said they won’t be taking any vacations this year.

That’s because Simon and Jenny Crumiller were the two unlucky new council members who pulled a one-year term length out of black top hat at Tuesday’s consolidation celebration at the municipal building on Witherspoon Street. Trenton Times


Dems reassert control of Bergen Cty. Freeholder board

Democrats took control of the Bergen County Freeholder Board Wednesday, vowing more bipartisan cooperation and fewer lawsuits in the year ahead. Record



Gas drilling called safe in New York

ALBANY — The state’s Health Department found in an analysis it prepared early last year that the much-debated drilling technology known as hydrofracking could be conducted safely in New York, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times from an expert who did not believe it should be kept secret. N.Y. Times



Camden says it has green light on police layoffs

Camden’s plan to lay off all its uniformed police officers and replace them with a new, county-run force has received approval from the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, according to Mayor Dana L. Redd’s office. Inquirer


Perth Amboy councilman who avoided censure could be next council president

PERTH AMBOY — A councilman considered the front-runner for the council president position at the Jan. 3 reorganization meeting is facing criticism from an outgoing council member about use of a family member’s handicapped parking decal. Asbury Park Press



High labor costs may be preventing Boardwalk Hall from attracting top talent

Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City’s largest concert and sports arena, is plagued by high labor costs and a tedious process for rigging the sound and lighting systems needed for major shows. Atlantic City Press


Dems dream of 2014 gains after cliff follies

Democrats, facing a challenging fight to retake the House of Representatives in 2014, see a promising new line of attack rising out of the fiscal cliff follies: casting the Republican congressional majority as a terminally dysfunctional body that cannot perform the basic functions of government, let alone lead the country through difficult times. Politico


House GOP lets Violence Against Women Act die

Despite a late-stage intervention by Vice President Joe Biden, House Republican leaders failed to advance the Senate’s 2012 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, an embattled bill that would have extended domestic violence protections to 30 million LGBT individuals, undocumented immigrants and Native American women. Huffington Post


Onlookers say fiscal cliff deal offers some encouragement to business

The fiscal cliff deal struck in Congress raises income tax rates for single taxpayers making more than $400,000 and married couples earning above $450,000 — and many of these wealthy taxpayers are small-businesses owners. But by putting an end to the uncertainty over future tax rates, the deal could encourage businesses to invest, expand and hire more workers, experts said. NJ Biz



Christie loaded for bear, aiming at Boehner

Gov. Christie is not happy it has been 66 days since superstorm Sandy struck and there has been no relief from Washington. And he laid the blame at House Speaker John Boehner’s feet today.  “There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,”  the governor told a news conference in his outer office. Christie said he had assurances it would be brought to a vote and even worked to secure support from across the nation after he was requested to. (Separately a source in Congress told me members believed it was coming up for a vote until late last night). Ingle, Asbury Park Press


Christie’s glorius fury over failed Sandy aid vote

You could almost feel New Jerseyans stand up and cheer for Gov. Chris Christie yesterday when he lambasted House Speaker John Boehner for tabling action on Hurricane Sandy relief. Star-Ledger

Morning Digest: Jan. 3, 2013